Why You (Probably) Should Not Carry A Weapon

angelariz

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NOTE: Nope, not political. I am talking about carrying weapons - NOT the whys and wherefores of the politics of allowing carry. Please keep that in mind when you reply.

Carrying weapons in the USA is popular. In most states, it's fairly easy to get a concealed weapon permit and in many states, carrying openly doesn't even require a permit. Some states are now also not requiring training or permits to carry concealed. Purchasing knives is legal without any kind of background check, and purchasing firearms only requires a background check at a dealer in most states.

Given that, the choice to be in public with a weapon in your possession is more or less a personal choice. Some choose to carry, some do not.

I do not carry. I think most people should not carry. My reasons are NOT political, but practical. Here they are.

1) Most people can't be trusted with firearms. I know, I know, *you* are a deadeye shot, an expert with nomenclature, and you've mastered self-defense and deadly force laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Except, yeah, no. Most of you have not. The people I have talked to often can't tell me when they are allowed to defend themselves with deadly force. They don't know how to safely clear a jammed weapon. They don't know the difference between windage and elevation. They have no idea what sight picture is. They haven't been to the range since they initially got their concealed permit - if then. They can't fire from their weak hand. They don't know how to aim. The list goes on and on. You may be one of those people. You probably do not believe it about yourself, but, well, most people think they can play professional sports and MMA, too.

I still recall the lady who emptied her firearm into a Home Depot parking lot a mile from my house, shooting at a shop lifter who ran out the door past her as she went in to shop. She hit several parked cars, but no people, thank goodness. She had JUST FINISHED getting her concealed permit and taking the required training. When she was arrested and went to trial, she was indignant and loudly announced that would be the last time she tried to help anyone. This is your general public, folks. As George Carlin said, you know how dumb the average person is? Well, half of them are statistically dumber than that.

I'm not calling you a dummy. But I am saying that if you were a dummy, you would not believe it about yourself. Dummies never know how dumb they are.

2) A weapon you have to carry is a weapon you have to defend. If you should ever find yourself in dire straits and have to defend yourself, now you have to defend your own person AND you have to ensure that your weapon doesn't get taken from you and used on you. A knife, a gun, a stick, mace, whatever. If it's in your hand, a bad guy might well take it from you and use it on you, so now you have to defend against that as well as keeping yourself from being clouted upside your punkin noggin.

3) If you draw a weapon, any confrontation is now a deadly force situation. Too many people believe in magic wands. Guns, they think (and knives) solve everything by simply displaying them. They feel threatened, they brandish. First, not only is that in itself often a crime (if you're not legitimately permitted to defend yourself with deadly force), but second, it's not a freaking magic wand, sports fans. You don't draw it, wave it around, and now everything gets better. In fact, 99 times out of 100, once you do that, things get much, much, worse. Now a fight with a clot-head over a parking spot or a drunken idiot in a bar who's being beligerant is a fight to the death. They don't want to get shot; they do want to take that gun from you. The chances that you're going to have to kill someone just went sky-high; did it have to be that way? I'm betting that most times, no.

4) If you draw a weapon, now you have one hand to fight with. Congratulations; if you were not planning to shoot, now you have a useless hand because you're not going to be punching or blocking with your gun hand; you'll be stuck fighting with your weak hand. Wasn't that clever?

5) If you carry, carry. The day you choose not to carry because it's too hot or you're too tired or the gun's too heavy, or a thousand other reasons, will be the day you actually do need it. Or you'll leave it in your car and it will be stolen and used to murder someone down the line. Or you will just put it on the kitchen table when you get home and it will end up being picked up by a kid. Or you'll drop it in a public restroom because your holster pulled your pants down when you sat down and gun go bang. Etc.

So here's my deal. I am trained in firearms, unlike many. Former Marine MP, former law enforcement, raised with guns, hunted as a child with my dad, the whole country boy thing. I *do* know how to handle a weapon safely, I do train with firearms on a more than annual basis, I've got a Federal Firearms License (Curio and Relic collector). I know the laws on self-defense pretty well. I definitely know shoot-don't shoot.

With a knife, I'm a rank amateur. I'd probably get a knife taken from me and shoved up my jaxie. I would feel very foolish indeed with my own knife sticking out of my forehead after someone took it from me and used it on me. So I definitely won't be carrying a knife.

However, I am 62 years old. I've never been put into a deadly force situation outside of the military. My wife was mugged once in Central Park, so I do know it happens. But I am fortunate enough to live in an area where that sort of thing doesn't happen much. If it were to happen and someone were to demand my wallet, I'd give it to them. It's just some cash and cards I can replace - the bank won't even charge me if they're used by the bad guy. If they want my car keys, here you go. Watch? Sure thing. Take it all.

The only thing I will not do is go with someone against my will. In that case, I flee if I can, fight if I must, and I'll do everything I possibly can to prevent myself from being taken. But I consider the chances of that to be quite low for me. I have nothing anyone wants.

Maybe your circumstances are different. I understand that. I'm not judging. But I am saying that I've done the risk analysis for myself and my circumstances, and the risk/reward ratio just doesn't work for me to carry a weapon. Not a knife, not a gun. They are just unneccessary burdens that I do not need.

Do I have guns? Sure I do. I have many. I'm a collector and I believe in the right to self-defense. Somebody breaks into my house, it's game on. But I doubt that will ever happen. And I don't live with children, so I don't have that liability to worry about.
I carry every day, I always have and I always will.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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I carry every day, I always have and I always will.
For those who will carry 100% of the time, know the laws regarding self-defense and deadly force, and aren't as dumb as a beer can, I say go for it. My argument is most people who carry, carry sometimes. They usually seem to have little to no clue about the laws regarding deadly force in their state, and they're also so stupid I have trouble believing they remember to breathe. Those people, whom I contend are the majority, should not go about armed. If that ain't you, congrats.
 

Steve

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For those who will carry 100% of the time, know the laws regarding self-defense and deadly force, and aren't as dumb as a beer can, I say go for it. My argument is most people who carry, carry sometimes. They usually seem to have little to no clue about the laws regarding deadly force in their state, and they're also so stupid I have trouble believing they remember to breathe. Those people, whom I contend are the majority, should not go about armed. If that ain't you, congrats.
Unpopular opinion around here, but I think guns are a net negative. I believe everyone would be safer if they just left their guns at home. Even most (not all) LEO.

Thinking specifically about your definition of self defense (and mine) where the question is about being safer (as opposed to being the most dangerous/toughest through martial ability).
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Unpopular opinion around here, but I think guns are a net negative. I believe everyone would be safer if they just left their guns at home. Even most (not all) LEO.

Thinking specifically about your definition of self defense (and mine) where the question is about being safer (as opposed to being the most dangerous/toughest through martial ability).
I think they are a net negative for me. In an (I hope) honest analysis of risk, I find that I have no use-case that I can imagine that requires the use of a firearm when I'm away from my home. In over 60 years of life, I have only very rarely found myself in situations requiring the use of unarmed self-defense, and most of those were 40+ years ago. I'm simply not in need of a gun to defend myself when I'm out and about.

Some might argue that there's always a chance I might be confronted with such a need, and it's better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it. True in the sense that anything is possible. But anything is not probable.

And I also remember the people who insist that carrying a gun for 'what if' scenarios is wise, I note they don't often own a fire extinguisher, have never practiced escaping from their home if it was filled with smoke at night, don't know what danger various types of clouds represent, and refuse to take shelter when hurricanes and tornados hit. So the idea that they're simply choosing the path of safety doesn't seem accurate. It seems more likely that they like guns (as do I) and have Rambo fantasies (which I hope I left behind with my youth).
 

Bujingodai

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Living in Canada, can't really carry anything or use it. In some way even if being attacked by a criminal you will also be prosecuted for using a weapon.
I have no issue with the concept of carrying anything, except the danger of losing it to the offending person. I like stick and staff like weapons myself. Simple as a kubaton on key chain. But even your jacket can become useful
 

drop bear

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Unpopular opinion around here, but I think guns are a net negative. I believe everyone would be safer if they just left their guns at home. Even most (not all) LEO.

Thinking specifically about your definition of self defense (and mine) where the question is about being safer (as opposed to being the most dangerous/toughest through martial ability).

It's a dichotomy. Statistically you are safer without one. Because almost nobody ever needs one. And so the danger of dropping it, Shooting yourself, loosing it. Is more likley than needing it in a gun fight.

In a gun fight you are a bit safer.
You can still die.
Gun fights are not safe. And guns in gun fights is less safe than not being in gun fights in the first place.

But the idea of dying in a gun fight is much scarier than dying from mundane things. So you feel safer.
 

drop bear

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I think they are a net negative for me. In an (I hope) honest analysis of risk, I find that I have no use-case that I can imagine that requires the use of a firearm when I'm away from my home. In over 60 years of life, I have only very rarely found myself in situations requiring the use of unarmed self-defense, and most of those were 40+ years ago. I'm simply not in need of a gun to defend myself when I'm out and about.

Some might argue that there's always a chance I might be confronted with such a need, and it's better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it. True in the sense that anything is possible. But anything is not probable.

And I also remember the people who insist that carrying a gun for 'what if' scenarios is wise, I note they don't often own a fire extinguisher, have never practiced escaping from their home if it was filled with smoke at night, don't know what danger various types of clouds represent, and refuse to take shelter when hurricanes and tornados hit. So the idea that they're simply choosing the path of safety doesn't seem accurate. It seems more likely that they like guns (as do I) and have Rambo fantasies (which I hope I left behind with my youth).
A helmet is probably the statistically better option.

But you would look like a goof wearing one. So don't do that.
 

drop bear

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I have been looking at the shivworks stuff which is kind of fun for people who want to carry weapons and want to physically defend that weapon in a fight.

It relies on some basic wrestling with different priorities. Which I think is kind of fun to know. Without going full RBSD crazy.

So for example they will go for a clinch underhook and try to get the dagastani hand cuff. Which cuts off access to the hips. Which is where most weapons live.
Screenshot_20240218_065142_Facebook.jpg
 
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Tigerwarrior

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NOTE: Nope, not political. I am talking about carrying weapons - NOT the whys and wherefores of the politics of allowing carry. Please keep that in mind when you reply.

Carrying weapons in the USA is popular. In most states, it's fairly easy to get a concealed weapon permit and in many states, carrying openly doesn't even require a permit. Some states are now also not requiring training or permits to carry concealed. Purchasing knives is legal without any kind of background check, and purchasing firearms only requires a background check at a dealer in most states.

Given that, the choice to be in public with a weapon in your possession is more or less a personal choice. Some choose to carry, some do not.

I do not carry. I think most people should not carry. My reasons are NOT political, but practical. Here they are.

1) Most people can't be trusted with firearms. I know, I know, *you* are a deadeye shot, an expert with nomenclature, and you've mastered self-defense and deadly force laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Except, yeah, no. Most of you have not. The people I have talked to often can't tell me when they are allowed to defend themselves with deadly force. They don't know how to safely clear a jammed weapon. They don't know the difference between windage and elevation. They have no idea what sight picture is. They haven't been to the range since they initially got their concealed permit - if then. They can't fire from their weak hand. They don't know how to aim. The list goes on and on. You may be one of those people. You probably do not believe it about yourself, but, well, most people think they can play professional sports and MMA, too.

I still recall the lady who emptied her firearm into a Home Depot parking lot a mile from my house, shooting at a shop lifter who ran out the door past her as she went in to shop. She hit several parked cars, but no people, thank goodness. She had JUST FINISHED getting her concealed permit and taking the required training. When she was arrested and went to trial, she was indignant and loudly announced that would be the last time she tried to help anyone. This is your general public, folks. As George Carlin said, you know how dumb the average person is? Well, half of them are statistically dumber than that.

I'm not calling you a dummy. But I am saying that if you were a dummy, you would not believe it about yourself. Dummies never know how dumb they are.

2) A weapon you have to carry is a weapon you have to defend. If you should ever find yourself in dire straits and have to defend yourself, now you have to defend your own person AND you have to ensure that your weapon doesn't get taken from you and used on you. A knife, a gun, a stick, mace, whatever. If it's in your hand, a bad guy might well take it from you and use it on you, so now you have to defend against that as well as keeping yourself from being clouted upside your punkin noggin.

3) If you draw a weapon, any confrontation is now a deadly force situation. Too many people believe in magic wands. Guns, they think (and knives) solve everything by simply displaying them. They feel threatened, they brandish. First, not only is that in itself often a crime (if you're not legitimately permitted to defend yourself with deadly force), but second, it's not a freaking magic wand, sports fans. You don't draw it, wave it around, and now everything gets better. In fact, 99 times out of 100, once you do that, things get much, much, worse. Now a fight with a clot-head over a parking spot or a drunken idiot in a bar who's being beligerant is a fight to the death. They don't want to get shot; they do want to take that gun from you. The chances that you're going to have to kill someone just went sky-high; did it have to be that way? I'm betting that most times, no.

4) If you draw a weapon, now you have one hand to fight with. Congratulations; if you were not planning to shoot, now you have a useless hand because you're not going to be punching or blocking with your gun hand; you'll be stuck fighting with your weak hand. Wasn't that clever?

5) If you carry, carry. The day you choose not to carry because it's too hot or you're too tired or the gun's too heavy, or a thousand other reasons, will be the day you actually do need it. Or you'll leave it in your car and it will be stolen and used to murder someone down the line. Or you will just put it on the kitchen table when you get home and it will end up being picked up by a kid. Or you'll drop it in a public restroom because your holster pulled your pants down when you sat down and gun go bang. Etc.

So here's my deal. I am trained in firearms, unlike many. Former Marine MP, former law enforcement, raised with guns, hunted as a child with my dad, the whole country boy thing. I *do* know how to handle a weapon safely, I do train with firearms on a more than annual basis, I've got a Federal Firearms License (Curio and Relic collector). I know the laws on self-defense pretty well. I definitely know shoot-don't shoot.

With a knife, I'm a rank amateur. I'd probably get a knife taken from me and shoved up my jaxie. I would feel very foolish indeed with my own knife sticking out of my forehead after someone took it from me and used it on me. So I definitely won't be carrying a knife.

However, I am 62 years old. I've never been put into a deadly force situation outside of the military. My wife was mugged once in Central Park, so I do know it happens. But I am fortunate enough to live in an area where that sort of thing doesn't happen much. If it were to happen and someone were to demand my wallet, I'd give it to them. It's just some cash and cards I can replace - the bank won't even charge me if they're used by the bad guy. If they want my car keys, here you go. Watch? Sure thing. Take it all.

The only thing I will not do is go with someone against my will. In that case, I flee if I can, fight if I must, and I'll do everything I possibly can to prevent myself from being taken. But I consider the chances of that to be quite low for me. I have nothing anyone wants.

Maybe your circumstances are different. I understand that. I'm not judging. But I am saying that I've done the risk analysis for myself and my circumstances, and the risk/reward ratio just doesn't work for me to carry a weapon. Not a knife, not a gun. They are just unneccessary burdens that I do not need.

Do I have guns? Sure I do. I have many. I'm a collector and I believe in the right to self-defense. Somebody breaks into my house, it's game on. But I doubt that will ever happen. And I don't live with children, so I don't have that liability to worry about.
These are all good considerations. I've thought about stuff like this before. You have to know your area and what you're likely to come up against. Me personally I carry a baton. But I hope I never need to use it. In a state where I live if you're not a felon and you are of age, you can legally carry a pistol no permit needed. I've thought about what would happen if I had to defend myself against someone who uses that right but misuses it. Like they start a confrontation with me and they are carrying a gun. They legally can't shoot you unless you pose a lethal threat. But here's the rough part. Say someone is walking to their car in a parking lot, confronted by 2 men, so they pull out an equalizer like a baton, but one of the 2 men is concealed carrying a pistol. They may be in the wrong but now they can legally shoot you for presenting a lethal weapon. It's stuff like that that pisses me off. I bother no one, but if someone wants to harm me and I try to defend myself they should have no right to legally shoot me. And even if it were illegal we all know how those things go. So I'm in a bit of a dilemma. Carry a weapon for if I get outnumbered or put in a bad situation, but possibly get hurt by someone misusing their right. Or 2 go around unarmed and still face the same risk.
 

gyoja

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I volunteer for the handgun training rotation at the local gun club and encourage my students to attend when they turn 18. Everyone carries here, so I want them to educate themselves in case they choose to carry or not.
 

GreenieMeanie

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NOTE: Nope, not political. I am talking about carrying weapons - NOT the whys and wherefores of the politics of allowing carry. Please keep that in mind when you reply.

Carrying weapons in the USA is popular. In most states, it's fairly easy to get a concealed weapon permit and in many states, carrying openly doesn't even require a permit. Some states are now also not requiring training or permits to carry concealed. Purchasing knives is legal without any kind of background check, and purchasing firearms only requires a background check at a dealer in most states.

Given that, the choice to be in public with a weapon in your possession is more or less a personal choice. Some choose to carry, some do not.

I do not carry. I think most people should not carry. My reasons are NOT political, but practical. Here they are.

1) Most people can't be trusted with firearms. I know, I know, *you* are a deadeye shot, an expert with nomenclature, and you've mastered self-defense and deadly force laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Except, yeah, no. Most of you have not. The people I have talked to often can't tell me when they are allowed to defend themselves with deadly force. They don't know how to safely clear a jammed weapon. They don't know the difference between windage and elevation. They have no idea what sight picture is. They haven't been to the range since they initially got their concealed permit - if then. They can't fire from their weak hand. They don't know how to aim. The list goes on and on. You may be one of those people. You probably do not believe it about yourself, but, well, most people think they can play professional sports and MMA, too.

I still recall the lady who emptied her firearm into a Home Depot parking lot a mile from my house, shooting at a shop lifter who ran out the door past her as she went in to shop. She hit several parked cars, but no people, thank goodness. She had JUST FINISHED getting her concealed permit and taking the required training. When she was arrested and went to trial, she was indignant and loudly announced that would be the last time she tried to help anyone. This is your general public, folks. As George Carlin said, you know how dumb the average person is? Well, half of them are statistically dumber than that.

I'm not calling you a dummy. But I am saying that if you were a dummy, you would not believe it about yourself. Dummies never know how dumb they are.

2) A weapon you have to carry is a weapon you have to defend. If you should ever find yourself in dire straits and have to defend yourself, now you have to defend your own person AND you have to ensure that your weapon doesn't get taken from you and used on you. A knife, a gun, a stick, mace, whatever. If it's in your hand, a bad guy might well take it from you and use it on you, so now you have to defend against that as well as keeping yourself from being clouted upside your punkin noggin.

3) If you draw a weapon, any confrontation is now a deadly force situation. Too many people believe in magic wands. Guns, they think (and knives) solve everything by simply displaying them. They feel threatened, they brandish. First, not only is that in itself often a crime (if you're not legitimately permitted to defend yourself with deadly force), but second, it's not a freaking magic wand, sports fans. You don't draw it, wave it around, and now everything gets better. In fact, 99 times out of 100, once you do that, things get much, much, worse. Now a fight with a clot-head over a parking spot or a drunken idiot in a bar who's being beligerant is a fight to the death. They don't want to get shot; they do want to take that gun from you. The chances that you're going to have to kill someone just went sky-high; did it have to be that way? I'm betting that most times, no.

4) If you draw a weapon, now you have one hand to fight with. Congratulations; if you were not planning to shoot, now you have a useless hand because you're not going to be punching or blocking with your gun hand; you'll be stuck fighting with your weak hand. Wasn't that clever?

5) If you carry, carry. The day you choose not to carry because it's too hot or you're too tired or the gun's too heavy, or a thousand other reasons, will be the day you actually do need it. Or you'll leave it in your car and it will be stolen and used to murder someone down the line. Or you will just put it on the kitchen table when you get home and it will end up being picked up by a kid. Or you'll drop it in a public restroom because your holster pulled your pants down when you sat down and gun go bang. Etc.

So here's my deal. I am trained in firearms, unlike many. Former Marine MP, former law enforcement, raised with guns, hunted as a child with my dad, the whole country boy thing. I *do* know how to handle a weapon safely, I do train with firearms on a more than annual basis, I've got a Federal Firearms License (Curio and Relic collector). I know the laws on self-defense pretty well. I definitely know shoot-don't shoot.

With a knife, I'm a rank amateur. I'd probably get a knife taken from me and shoved up my jaxie. I would feel very foolish indeed with my own knife sticking out of my forehead after someone took it from me and used it on me. So I definitely won't be carrying a knife.

However, I am 62 years old. I've never been put into a deadly force situation outside of the military. My wife was mugged once in Central Park, so I do know it happens. But I am fortunate enough to live in an area where that sort of thing doesn't happen much. If it were to happen and someone were to demand my wallet, I'd give it to them. It's just some cash and cards I can replace - the bank won't even charge me if they're used by the bad guy. If they want my car keys, here you go. Watch? Sure thing. Take it all.

The only thing I will not do is go with someone against my will. In that case, I flee if I can, fight if I must, and I'll do everything I possibly can to prevent myself from being taken. But I consider the chances of that to be quite low for me. I have nothing anyone wants.

Maybe your circumstances are different. I understand that. I'm not judging. But I am saying that I've done the risk analysis for myself and my circumstances, and the risk/reward ratio just doesn't work for me to carry a weapon. Not a knife, not a gun. They are just unneccessary burdens that I do not need.

Do I have guns? Sure I do. I have many. I'm a collector and I believe in the right to self-defense. Somebody breaks into my house, it's game on. But I doubt that will ever happen. And I don't live with children, so I don't have that liability to worry about.
Im coming to the conclusion that training towards self-defense including weapons for the average person, eventually morphs into deterrence and an additional way to stay fit. If youve been studying, putting in the time and effort, it shows to like-minded individuals and potential predators. When someone moves, talks, and pays attention to their environment like theyre experienced or trainedit makes you take them a little more seriously.
 

gyoja

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Im coming to the conclusion that training towards self-defense including weapons for the average person, eventually morphs into deterrence and an additional way to stay fit. If youve been studying, putting in the time and effort, it shows to like-minded individuals and potential predators. When someone moves, talks, and pays attention to their environment like theyre experienced or trainedit makes you take them a little more seriously.
Unfortunately, a great deal of concealed carriers are not fit, are not interested in fitness, much less weapons training to maintain proficiency. I do my part, but Im not even making a dent around here.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Unfortunately, a great deal of concealed carriers are not fit, are not interested in fitness, much less weapons training to maintain proficiency. I do my part, but Im not even making a dent around here.
The latest news around my part of the country seems to involve licensed concealed carriers who think getting mad at a bad driver and making a threat display or popping off a couple rounds is what guns are for.

In all honesty, most people are too dumb to carry guns. They're a menace to themselves and others.
 

gyoja

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The latest news around my part of the country seems to involve licensed concealed carriers who think getting mad at a bad driver and making a threat display or popping off a couple rounds is what guns are for.

In all honesty, most people are too dumb to carry guns. They're a menace to themselves and others.
Everyone carries here, either openly or concealed. We havent had a lot of incidents here, but its a small town. Reports coming out of more urban areas are a different story however.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Everyone carries here, either openly or concealed. We havent had a lot of incidents here, but its a small town. Reports coming out of more urban areas are a different story however.
Open carry people tick me off. It's like a challenge to people, hoping they'll take offense so they can get all puffed up. Yeah, it's your right, we get it. Grow up.

I've left businesses when open carry people walk in. And I make sure the management knows they'll never get another penny from me as long as they permit these whackadoodles in their business. Maybe they don't care, maybe they do, but I won't reward tolerating idiocy.
 

gyoja

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Open carry people tick me off. It's like a challenge to people, hoping they'll take offense so they can get all puffed up. Yeah, it's your right, we get it. Grow up.

I've left businesses when open carry people walk in. And I make sure the management knows they'll never get another penny from me as long as they permit these whackadoodles in their business. Maybe they don't care, maybe they do, but I won't reward tolerating idiocy.
Unless you go onto post, you will see people open carry here. Its allowed everywhere, but has yet to be a real problem. I guess that Im just used to it, growing up around it. Some military installations allow soldiers to literally drive up to the gate, place their handgun in its plastic case, and show ID and come on post (not here yet).
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Michigan
Unless you go onto post, you will see people open carry here. Its allowed everywhere, but has yet to be a real problem. I guess that Im just used to it, growing up around it. Some military installations allow soldiers to literally drive up to the gate, place their handgun in its plastic case, and show ID and come on post (not here yet).
Problem or not, it's like waving your schvantz around. Yeah yeah, that's great, put it away ya yutz.
 

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